CalEPA and CDFA have released a list of 25 people to serve on a workgroup to guide the state as it transitions away from pesticides. The group ranges from farmers to antipesticide activists, academics, pesticide companies, pest control advisors and trade group CEOs.

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said the group’s recommendations will “inform the next decade of research and development” and help form new partnerships. CalEPA Secretary Jared Blumenfeld (above) emphasized the state’s goal of protecting farmworkers “and some of California’s most vulnerable and pollution-burdened communities.”

The administration is proposing to fund other aspects of the pesticide reduction plan by raising fees on pesticide sales through the mill assessment. The administration and Legislature have until July to negotiate the proposal.

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The new group follows in the footsteps of an earlier group charged with recommending alternatives to chlorpyrifos.

The resulting report from that process found that much more work would be needed to weigh the potential tradeoffs and unintended consequences when canceling a pesticide product. The original group urged the state to provide more funding for cooperative extension research and outreach. Some of its members will serve on the new group.